Tag: Oneil Cruz

2019 Preseason Top 150

Carter Kieboom
Carter Kieboom. Courtesy: Aaron Whelan

Before I even got this posted Alex Reyes exhausted his rookie eligibility (needed a single out to do so and pitched an inning on Friday) so I updated my top 150 before it went live. Reyes was at 22 but is now removed making room for Ryan Weathers, giving the Padres two more than any other team with 12 players making the top 150.  15 players on the list open the season in the big leagues, with 14 of those in the top 80 and the Padres and Mariners both starting with two players in the big leagues.


Player Position Team Rank
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B Toronto Blue Jays 1
Fernando Tatis Jr. SS San Diego Padres 2
Eloy Jimenez OF Chicago White Sox 3
Forrest Whitley RHP Houston Astros 4
Victor Robles OF Washington Nationals 5
Jo Adell OF Los Angeles Angels 6
Royce Lewis SS Minnesota Twins 7
Wander Franco SS Tampa Bay Rays 8
Nick Senzel 2B/3B Cincinnati Reds 9
Jesus Luzardo LHP Oakland Athletics 10
MacKenzie Gore LHP San Diego Padres 11
Bo Bichette SS/2B Toronto Blue Jays 12
Kyle Tucker OF Houston Astros 13
Taylor Trammell OF Cincinnati Reds 14
Keston Hiura 2B Milwaukee Brewers 15
Brendan Rodgers SS/2B Colorado Rockies 16
Sixto Sanchez RHP Miami Marlins 17
Cristian Pache OF Atlanta Braves 18
Carter Kieboom SS Washington Nationals 19
Luis Urias 2B/SS San Diego Padres 20
Casey Mize RHP Detroit Tigers 21
Joey Bart C San Francisco Giants 22
Austin Riley 3B Atlanta Braves 23
Keibert Ruiz C Los Angeles Dodgers 24
Pete Alonso 1B New York Mets 25
Brendan McKay LHP/1B Tampa Bay Rays 26
Michael Kopech RHP Chicago White Sox 27
Hunter Greene RHP Cincinnati Reds 28
Mitch Keller RHP Pittsburgh Pirates 29
Andres Gimenez SS New York Mets 30
Brent Honeywell RHP Tampa Bay Rays 31
Nick Madrigal 2B/SS Chicago White Sox 32
Jonathan India 3B/SS Cincinnati Reds 33
Sean Murphy C Oakland Athletics 34
Alex Verdugo OF Los Angeles Dodgers 35
A.J. Puk LHP Oakland Athletics 36
Matthew Liberatore LHP Tampa Bay Rays 37
Mike Soroka RHP Atlanta Braves 38
Nolan Gorman 3B St. Louis Cardinals 39
Ian Anderson RHP Atlanta Braves 40
Francisco Mejia C/OF San Diego Padres 41
Luis Robert OF Chicago White Sox 42
Dylan Cease RHP Chicago White Sox 43
Chris Paddack RHP San Diego Padres 44
Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B Pittsburgh Pirates 45
Vidal Brujan 2B Tampa Bay Rays 46
Touki Toussaint RHP Atlanta Braves 47
Brusdar Graterol RHP Minnesota Twins 48
Justus Sheffield LHP Seattle Mariners 49
Kyle Wright RHP Atlanta Braves 50
Yordan Alvarez OF Houston Astros 51
Alex Kirilloff OF Minnesota Twins 52
Jesus Sanchez OF Tampa Bay Rays 53
Yusei Kikuchi LHP Seattle Mariners 54
Yusniel Diaz OF Baltimore Orioles 55
Khalil Lee OF Kansas City Royals 56
Jarred Kelenic OF Seattle Mariners 57
Triston McKenzie RHP Cleveland Indians 58
Danny Jansen C Toronto Blue Jays 59
Jazz Chisholm SS Arizona Diamondbacks 60
Adrian Morejon LHP San Diego Padres 61
Griffin Canning RHP Los Angeles Angels 62
Dustin May RHP Los Angeles Dodgers 63
Luis Patino RHP San Diego Padres 64
Alec Bohm 3B Philadelphia Phillies 65
Estevan Florial OF New York Yankees 66
Jon Duplantier RHP Arizona Diamondbacks 67
DL Hall LHP Baltimore Orioles 68
Nate Pearson RHP Toronto Blue Jays 69
Josh James RHP Houston Astros 70
Drew Waters OF Atlanta Braves 71
Bryse Wilson RHP Atlanta Braves 72
Nolan Jones 3B Cleveland Indians 73
Gavin Lux SS/2B Los Angeles Dodgers 74
Travis Swaggerty OF Pittsburgh Pirates 75
Matt Manning RHP Detroit Tigers 76
Oneil Cruz SS Pittsburgh Pirates 77
Luis Garcia SS/3B Washington Nationals 78
Garrett Hampson 2B/SS Colorado Rockies 79
Adonis Medina RHP Philadelphia Phillies 80
Ryan Mountcastle 3B Baltimore Orioles 81
Kristian Robinson OF Arizona Diamondbacks 82
Brady Singer RHP Kansas City Royals 83
Monte Harrison OF Miami Marlins 84
Logan Allen LHP San Diego Padres 85
Nico Hoerner SS Chicago Cubs 86
Michel Baez RHP San Diego Padres 87
Isaac Paredes SS/2B Detroit Tigers 88
Victor Victor Mesa OF Miami Marlins 89
Trevor Larnach OF Minnesota Twins 90
Brandon Marsh OF Los Angeles Angels 91
Heliot Ramos OF San Francisco Giants 92
Brandon Lowe 2B/OF Tampa Bay Rays 93
Ronny Mauricio SS New York Mets 94
Will Smith C/3B Los Angeles Dodgers 95
MJ Melendez C Kansas City Royals 96
Dane Dunning RHP Chicago White Sox 97
Ronaldo Hernandez C Tampa Bay Rays 98
Hans Crouse RHP Texas Rangers 99
Jonathan Loaisiga RHP New York Yankees 100
Corbin Martin RHP Houston Astros 101
Cole Winn RHP Texas Rangers 102
Luiz Gohara LHP Atlanta Braves 103
Leody Taveras OF Texas Rangers 104
William Contreras C Atlanta Braves 105
Seuly Matias OF Kansas City Royals 106
Lucius Fox SS Tampa Bay Rays 107
Corey Ray OF Milwaukee Brewers 108
Spencer Howard RHP Philadelphia Phillies 109
Jahmai Jones 2B Los Angeles Angels 110
Jordyn Adams OF Los Angeles Angels 111
George Valera OF Cleveland Indians 112
J.B. Bukauskas RHP Houston Astros 113
Justin Dunn RHP Seattle Mariners 114
Michael Chavis 3B Boston Red Sox 115
Mark Vientos 3B New York Mets 116
Daz Cameron OF Detroit Tigers 117
Bubba Thompson OF Texas Rangers
Josh Naylor 1B/OF San Diego Padres 119
Colton Welker 3B Colorado Rockies 120
Daulton Varsho C Arizona Diamondbacks 121
Evan White 1B Seattle Mariners 122
Peter Lambert RHP Colorado Rockies 123
Taylor Widener RHP Arizona Diamondbacks 124
Julio Pablo Martinez OF Texas Rangers 125
Kevin Smith SS/3B Toronto Blue Jays 126
Miguel Amaya C Chicago Cubs 127
Andrew Knizner C St. Louis Cardinals 128
Tyler Nevin 1B Colorado Rockies 129
Hudson Potts 3B/1B San Diego Padres 130
Sandy Alcantara RHP Miami Marlins 131
Shane Baz RHP Tampa Bay Rays 132
Tyler Stephenson C Cincinnati Reds 133
Eric Pardinho RHP Toronto Blue Jays 134
Franklin Perez RHP Detroit Tigers 135
Jordan Groshans 3B/SS Toronto Blue Jays 136
Dakota Hudson RHP St. Louis Cardinals 137
Nate Lowe 1B Tampa Bay Rays 138
Elehuris Montero 3B St. Louis Cardinals 139
Luis Oviedo RHP Cleveland Indians 140
Tony Santillan RHP Cincinnati Reds 141
Triston Casas 1B/3B Boston Red Sox 142
Adbert Alzolay RHP Chicago Cubs 143
Ethan Hankins RHP Cleveland Indians 144
Beau Burrows RHP Detroit Tigers 145
Brice Turang SS Milwaukee Brewers 146
Brent Rooker 1B/OF Minnesota Twins 147
Alex Faedo RHP Detroit Tigers 148
Deivi Garcia RHP New York Yankees 149
Ryan Weathers LHP San Diego Padres 150


Pittsburgh Pirates 2019 Preseason Top 10

Pittsburgh Pirates 2019 Preseason Top 10


Player: Mitch Keller
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 22 2018 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’2” Weight: 210 lbs.
Quick Report: A hard sinking fastball that can touch triple digits and sit up to 97 is a hard pitch to hit at any level, add to that a strong 11-5 curve and you have the makings of an impressive pitcher. In order to truly be effective as a starter, he needs to improve the change that is not quite average but showing signs it will get there, which will make the fastball and curve play even better. The delivery is smooth and repeatable, although he has battled injuries throughout his pro career. He has the future of a number two or three starter, although he could have to become a dominant reliever if the change doesn’t improve, but I foresee him settling in as a staple in the Pirates rotation as early as this June.


Player: Ke’Bryan Hayes
Position(s): 3B Opening Day Age: 22 2018 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” Weight: 210 lbs.
Quick Report: A real shot to be a future Gold Glove award winner, Hayes has the bloodlines (his father Charlie Hayes played 13 years in the big leagues) and athleticism to be special. He has a contact first approach that has also seen him improve his walk rate every pro season. The bat seems to be pulled through the zone rather than snappy so the power upside may be limited, but a guy who hits for a solid average, can leg out plenty of doubles, and plays elite defense can be a starter for a long time at the big league level.


Player: Travis Swaggerty
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 21 2018 Highest Level: Low A
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 5’11” Weight: 180 lbs.
Quick Report: The tenth overall pick a season ago, Swaggerty really made a name for himself starring on the collegiate team for Team USA after his sophomore year. He made some mechanical adjustments to his swing to go from a more contact oriented bat to a guy with plus raw power. He has a long stride that allows him to really get into the ball to the pull side but can swing over the ball quite a bit too. Despite the stride suggesting he should struggle with off-speed stuff, he has very good hands that adjust well and will limit the number of strikeouts he is saddles with. In the field he can fly and is improving on his routes, suggesting he will be an above average center fielder with a plus arm for the position.


Player: Oneil Cruz
Position(s): SS/OF Opening Day Age: 20 2018 Highest Level: Low A
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height:  6’6” Weight: 175 lbs.
Quick Report: Quite possibly the most intriguing prospect in baseball, Cruz is listed at 6’6” but some say he is at least an inch taller. The simple fact is there has never been a player able to stick at short with his size, but there is a chance he sticks there. He has good hands and as strong an arm as any position player in baseball. He runs well for a long legged guy, although it is more straight line speed than quickness. If he does move off short, the first move would likely be to center, but if he ends up losing too much athleticism (he is insanely lean at just 175 lbs. after all) he could be a plus defender in right. There is real concern about his ability to make consistent contact, but that may not be too big a concern as he has top of the scale raw power and is already allowing that to translate to game power. If he can prove he is able to hit .275, which is unlikely, and stick at short, he will be the number one prospect in the game in a couple years. That is his ceiling, but I see him more as a .260 hitter with 35+ home runs and a change to be an above average defensive center fielder.


Player: Cole Tucker
Position(s): SS Opening Day Age: 22 2018 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Switch Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 205 lbs.
Quick Report: Shoulder injuries are always scary, but Tucker has bounced back from a labrum tear early in his career to see his arm return to plus status. His defense at short is smooth and is good enough to make him be an impactful player regardless of his offense, which has improved. He is much better from the left side of the plate as his swing is smooth and is able to barrel up the ball well. From the right side, the swing gets a bit clunky and he grounds out too often, but he is still very lean, so there is a chance that smooths out as he fills out more and could become a guy who runs into double digit home runs.


Player: Kevin Kramer
Position(s): 2B Opening Day Age: 25 2018 Highest Level: MLB
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’ Weight: 200 lbs.
Quick Report: Kramer struggled in his brief taste of the big leagues a season ago, but that is of little concern to the Pirates. He is a player who has always been able to make adjustments, going from a contact first hitter to a guy looking to hit for power, he now needs to improve his approach at the plate, something I have little doubt he will be able to do. His future as an everyday player is at second base, but if he can’t hold down an everyday job he can be a utility infielder that can hold down short in a pinch and has enough arm to play third.


Player: Kevin Newman
Position(s): SS/2B Opening Day Age: 25 2018 Highest Level: MLB
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’ Weight: 195 lbs.
Quick Report: Newman lands this high on the list purely based on floor as his ceiling is quite limited. He is a solid shortstop who can play very good defense at second and hold down third if needed. At the plate it is an all contact, no power approach, which really limits his impact. He doesn’t walk much, but he rarely strikes out, which allows him to potentially be a guy who hits second in a lineup, but more likely a number seven type hitter. If all comes together, he could have a ceiling of a David Eckstein, but that will most likely be a utility role due to the infield talent the Pirates have on the way.


Player: Bryan Reynolds
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 23 2018 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Switch Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 205 lbs.
Quick Report: I really struggled with who to place higher between Mitchell and Reynolds, and ultimately settled giving Reynolds the nod ahead of Mitchell.. While Vandy has an impressive track record of pitching talent in recent years, their outfield prospects have proven to be better in college than in the pros, and I fear Reynolds may be another example of this. He is a solid defensive center fielder but lacks the arm strength to be a true fourth outfielder as he would not be able to play right. There is hope he develops into average power, and the swing does make it easy to put an above average raw grade on it, but it is the contact and the fact he is a switch hitter that will carry him.


Player: Calvin Mitchell
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 19 2018 Highest Level: Low A
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’ Weight: 210 lbs.
Quick Report: Defensively, Mitchell is quite limited, likely to be a left fielder and some chance he has to move to the dirt and play first. He has a smooth stroke from the left side of the plate that could keep up and allow him to develop an above average hit tool. There is a good bat plane to translate to power, but he lacks projectability, so I don’t see a whole lot more game power showing up. In the end, he will be a guy who could become above average hit, average power, but a defensive liability that limits his upside.


Player: Luis Escobar
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 22 2018 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” Weight: 205 lbs.
Quick Report: Sitting in the mid-90s and running his fastball up to 97 wasn’t something many saw coming when he signed with the Pirates as an infielder in 2013. Now he is a power pitcher that has started all but five of his pro appearances, although his big league future is in the bullpen. He has the big fastball, but also has an above average curve and a change that has shown signs of being a plus pitch. The command is, well, poor and there is a lot of effort in the delivery, so the future is almost certainly as a high leverage reliever, although the command could limit his effectiveness in that role.

Others of Note:

Jason Martin – OF – 22 – AAA
Lolo Sanchez – OF – 19 – Low A
Jared Oliva – OF – 23 – High A
Steven Jennings – RHP – 20 – Rookie
Pablo Reyes – Util – 25 – MLB
Tahnaj Thomas – RHP – 19 – Rookie
Braxton Ashcraft – RHP – 19 – Rookie